top of page

Healthy Outdoors

There are so many ways - and so many reasons - to get outdoors every day. Understanding these can help help us build the routines we need, and help Kennett to spend its money wisely to build the paths, trails, and routes we need to get outdoors every day. In every case, we strive to make these opportunities open to everyone, regardless of age and/or ability, to the extent practicable. And our public health framework seeks to draw on the latest research and policy.

 

Check out Margot's story of learning to enjoy hiking despite her disabilities. Based on these experiences, we have developed guides for those just starting out - like these guides for easy and harder paved paths,     

Active transportation

Instead of driving, walk or bike to to your school, park, store, or library. Read more

Exercise

DSC02279.JPG

Set a goal to exercise outdoors for at least 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. Read more

To be with others

IMG_3334.JPG

Instead of meeting friends over lunch, take a walk together. Read more.

To enjoy nature

Instead of meeting friends over lunch, take a walk together. 

IMG_4203.JPEG

When exercising, getting somewhere, or just seeking peace, turn to nature. Read more

To help our town

Collage 2.png

Consider volunteering at a preserve or park. Click here to read how Margot is helping.

Active transportation

Active transportation

Goal: When you need to get somewhere in Kennett, try sometimes leaving your car behind and instead walk or cycle at least 40 minutes (20 minutes each way). Try to work yourself up to 2 to 3 trips per week.

  • Why 20 minutes? Research suggests this is the typical length of active transportation trips.   

What you can do

  • Begin by thinking about

    • How far you can comfortably walk in say 20 minutes on foot (about 1 mile) or by bike (about 3-5 miles) 

    • The places you visit in Kennett every week - a coffee shop, bakery, another store, the library, the YMCA...

  • Look to see if there might be a low-stress route you can comfortably complete to reach any of these destinations

  • Plan a dry run

    • Decide on your route and destination

    • ​Choose a time that works for your schedule

    • Consider how to bring what you need

    • Consider how you might dress differently under different weather conditions

  • Go for it!

    • Chose a nice day to try the route out without any pressure to complete your errands

    • Check how long it takes you, and make a note about what you might do differently next time

  • Maybe combine this with other goals

    • ​Complete an errand on your outing

    • Exercise with a friend

    • Choose a route that connects you with nature

  • Note that this could change your routines in other ways, like 

    • Choosing a different store that is more safely accessed by bike than your regular store (see example to the right)

    • Changing your schedule to break up your day, or leaving when the traffic is lighter or the weather is better

What we can do for Kennett 

One way to help people in Kennett get outdoors every day is to identify or create Active Transportation Routes.  These are combinations of paths, routes, or trails that a lot of people can readily use to walk or bike to places they are likely to visit at least weekly, that are preferably low stress, and that ideally are appropriate for most or all people regardless of their age and/or abilities. The proposed Fair Mills Loop, based on a Yield Roadway design, is an active transportation route potentially benefiting hundreds of households at a minimal cost (see below)

  • A lot of people: We can look at neighborhoods of at least 10 households who could benefit

  • Routes that are readily used are those that require less than 1 mile for those walking and less than 3-5 miles for those on bicycles relative to a given neighborhood

  • Places people are likely to visit at least weekly: School, park, food store, library.  

  • Low-stress routes avoid busy, noisy roads, sections with steep slopes, and intersections that are hard to cross

When the weather is nice, Margot and I either ride our new bike taxi to Harvest Market in Hockessin (a 3.5 mile trip that take us 20 minutes each way) or our adapted electric tandem (above) to the Giant west of Kennett (a 5 mile trip that takes us 30 minutes each way). While the Giant at Longwood is actually closer, there is no safe bike route to get there. 

This DVRPC Level of Traffic Stress analysis map can help chose routes favoring lowest stress (dark green) roads while avoiding highest stress (roads) Click here and zoom in to check out routes across the Township and beyond. 

This 2018 plan helps to identify some of the population centers and offers other helpful ideas on active transportation.

Exercise
Fair Mills Loop

Exercise

Goal: Aim to walk or cycle for at least 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week.

What you can do

  • Begin by thinking about how far you need to walk or bike to meet your exercise goals 

    • ​If you are not sure, start by aiming for 30 minutes on foot (about 1.5 miles) or by bike (about 5-7 miles) 

  • Look for a good route, not only the right distance but that...

    • Is low stress (see below), maybe getting you off the roads

    • You can ideally reach easily from your house without a car

  • Plan a dry run

    • Decide on the distance covered and on your route

    • Choose a time that works for your schedule

    • Consider how you might dress differently under different weather conditions

  • Go for it!

    • Choose a nice day to try the route out

    • Check how long it takes you, and make a note about what you might do differently next time

  • Maybe combine this with other goals

    • ​Complete an errand on your outing

    • Exercise with a friend

    • Choose a route that connects you with nature

  • Think about that this could change your schedule

    • Break up your day

    • Tweak the timing: Plan to leave when the traffic is lighter or the weather is better

What we can do for Kennett 

Another way to help people in Kennett get outdoors every day is to identify or create Recreation Routes. A Recreation Route is a combination of paths, routes, or trails that a lot of people can use to meet their minimum exercise goals involving walking, jogging, or biking.  Ideally, these routes are low stress and are appropriate for most or all people regardless of their age and/or abilities. The proposed Fair Mills Loop, based on a Yield Roadway design, is a recreation and active transportation route potentially benefiting hundreds of households at a minimal cost (see right).  

  • A lot of people: We can look at neighborhoods of at least 10 households who could benefit

  • Minimum exercise goals involving walking, jogging, or biking: We focus here on routes that offer at least 20 minutes of exercise: 

    • 1 mile for walkers, 1.5 miles for joggers, and 2 miles for runners

    • 3 miles for beginner cyclists, and 5 miles for the more advanced. 

  • Low-stress paths, routes, and trails avoid busy, noisy roads, sections with steep slopes or features that may be difficult for some to navigate, and intersections that are hard to cross. Our trail guides include detailed descriptions of difficulty.  

  • Readily access such a route: We looks for routes where no more than 50% of the overall time spent exercising is spent accessing the recreational route. Therefore we focus on those walkers and joggers who are less than ¼ mile from the route, and cyclists who are less than .75 miles from the route. For those will to travel further, our guides list the distance to access each path or trail. 

Margot on Stateline Fixed.jpg

Margot gets exercise outdoors by walking for at least 20 minutes (and sometimes up to 75 minutes) at least 4-5 days each week - almost all year long.  This can include walks to places she volunteers, getting exercise through active transportation! And on days when she doesn't walk outside, she might go on a treadmill for up to 20 minutes.

 

In this picture, Margot is walking on Stateline Woods Preserve, which was originally acquired after we helped to fundraise among neighbors. Later, we fundraised again to help cover the cost of adding a parcel to Stateline that provided direct access for Margot and our neighbors, and a potentially valuable link to nearby preserves. 

Yield Roadway Fair Mills Loop Banner new.png

We have proposed the Fair Mills Loop as both a recreation and active transportation route potentially suitable for all ages and abilities. Based on a Yield Roadway design, the 3.5 mile loop can be implemented through traffic studies and potentially simple upgrades. If completed, it could provide immediate connections for at least 200 households. Read more here.

To enjoy nature

Enjoy nature

Goal: When you are exercising, going somewhere, or just spending time with someone else, try to choose a route that takes you through a natural setting that you enjoy. See how Margot loses herself in the outdoors by clicking here.

Where to begin

  • When you are scouting out routes for exercise or active transportation, check which includes sections through a park or preserve and a quiet wooded road.  Consider making a detour to include these sections

What we can do for Kennett 

One way to help people in Kennett connect with nature is to prioritize narrower and more natural trails that preserve the landscape wherever this meets the needs of residents. Carefully designed Universal access trails that wind through woods can immerse users in nature. With a firm gravel or even dirt surface, and as little as 3-5' in width, these can meet the needs of everyone using their feet , walker, wheelchair, or stroller to get around and can be built at a fraction of the cost and environmental impact of a shared use path.  Check back later!

Chandler-Mill.gif

Whenever possible, we choose a walk that gets Margot outside in the fields and woods (here at Chandler Mill Nature Preserve).  We have walked many easy paths and trails in state parks and nature preserves within an easy drive of Kennett to reach this goal - check out our maps.

Be with others

Just to be with others

Goal: When you are exercising, going somewhere, or seeking to connect with nature, consider bringing a friend.

Where to begin

  • When planning a walk, consider who you might ask to join you.

  • Instead of meeting for coffee or lunch, meet over a trail.

  • Instead of a day trip to the beach, plan a half-day hike through a local preserve with a picnic

What we can do for Kennett 

One way to help people in Kennett connect others through recreation and exercise is to work towards having a range of paths and trails that meet the needs of different users.  Another way is to intentionally adding places to sit and rest or even picnic at key spots.  These places can serve multiple purposes - for people with mobility challenges, these resting places can help them to extend their outing more comfortably.

Carrie and Margot.png

Because of her disabilities, outdoor recreation activities (like walking, biking, kayaking, skiing, and so on) are among the few things that Margot can enjoy with other people (like her walk here at Oversee Farm with her favorite aunt!). 

Helping our neighbors and our planet

Goal: When you looking to move, enjoy nature, or do something with others, consider doing volunteer work that gets you moving outside.

What we can do for Kennett 

For those keen to be out in nature, the best opportunities will probably involve volunteering at one of tour local parks or preserves.  This can include specific one-day projects, or longer-term ones.  Consider reaching out to the following:

And there are other volunteer opportunities that get you moving.  Volunteering to work with children after the school day through After the Bell or in any of the many recreation, camp, and school programs offered by the Kennett YMCA will certainly get you moving.  You would be surprised how many Kennett organizations offer volunteer programs to get yu moving - with the Kennett Library, Margot gets exercise helping to create meadows (see right) and by walking to Kennett's Pop Up Lending Libraries to keep them freshly stocked. Click here to see other examples listed on our sIster website, the Kennett Ability Network.

IMG_3029.JPEG

Margot spent about 3 hours a week volunteering with Kennett Library's Meadowito project converting a section of lawn at the YMCA into a meadow to try to better control run-off from a parking lot into the creek. Filling, hauling, and then dumping buckets of mulch offered a great movement break. 

Volunteer work
bottom of page